Alexander is different from the rest in that he has Chinese and Korean blood in him (his father is from Hong Kong and is part Portugese, while his mother is Korean) and this allows him to enjoy festivities with two different feels. Alexander, who is 24 this year, was born in the year of the dragon and this year happens to be the year of the dragon too!
Alexander grew up in Macau and has always spent his Lunar New Year with a ‘Chinese feel’, but after ‘returning’ to Korea as a star over the past few years, Alexander has start spending the new year with a ‘Korean feel’. In actual fact, the Lunar New Year is one of the most important national holidays in Korea and Alexander doesn’t see much difference (between the Chinese and Korean celebrations) except for a few details. Let’s hear it from him!
About celebrating the Lunar New Year in Macau
In Macau, it is very happening during the Lunar New Year. Like everyone else, we will have a reunion dinner with our family on the eve of the new year. When I was young, I stayed up with my sister to welcome the new year and then received red packets from my parents.
About celebrating the Lunar New Year in Korea
Due to my job, I have been spending the past few new years in Korea. The celebrations here are almost exactly like the Chinese celebrations, except it is tradition here to eat ‘ddok guk’ (rice-cake soup). If they want to dress more formally, the Koreans will wear the traditional hanbok on the first day of the new year. I have been spending the new year with my grandmother and aunt, and they give out new year money too.
What are some of the must-do things?
Of course we have to buy new clothes! Also, the cantonese believe that wearing red underwear will bring good luck, so I do that too, hahaha! My family is not too particular about the new year taboos. For instance, some people say that you cannot sweep the floor on the first day of the new year, but now everybody uses vacuum cleaners anyway! When I was in Macau, I would go out with my friends to the night markets to enjoy the festivities too.
You haven’t been spending the new year with your family over the past years. Do you miss them especially on these days?
It does get a little lonely, but since it’s my job, I don’t have a choice. I have less friends in Korea and being a celebrity, the bigger the holiday, the more I have time to myself. Whenever I have an event to attend, I have to sacrifice the chance to meet my friends.
What are some of your resolutions for this new year?
Last year was a huge turning point for me. From being in a group (U-Kiss) to going solo, it definitely wasn’t easy but I did it, except it isn’t perfect so I will continue working hard. I released a solo EP and held a few showcases last year and I started filming for a drama this year. I have plans to release a full album and hopefully a Mandarin one as well, and I hope I can hold more showcases too!
*(Alexander is currently filming for a Korean drama, but did not disclose any details).
Besides Korea and Malaysia, what other countries do you intend to expand in to?
My target would be China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Although I am considered a K-Pop star, I want to enter the overseas markets. Singapore is also another country I am planning to go to. Whether it’s acting or singing, as long as my fans scream for me, I will go!
What Korean drama have you watched that left a deep impression on you?
Honestly, I don’t have much time to watch the television. I have watched ‘Full House’ and ‘My Girlfriend is a Gumiho’ previously, which I enjoyed and felt the urge to try out acting. From young, I have been watching TVB serials (Hong Kong dramas) while I was in Macau. Few years back when ‘Heart of Greed’ was showing, I was crazy over it too, hahaha! Taiwanese Idol dramas are good too. When I was in Malaysia and feeling bored in the hotel, I would turn on the television and watch Malay dramas too. I think they’re OK! (Can you understand them?) There are English and Chinese subtitles, I want to try it if I have the chance too. (Filming in Malaysia?) Yes! Why not!
Are you a very open person?
Yes! Maybe it’s due to the influence of my parents as well as Macau being multi-cultural, which cultivated this acceptance in me, so I don’t die of hunger no matter where I go. I think Malaysia is a great country - the food is good and not too expensive, it’s very clean and the multi-cultural society suits me, a good place to live and eat, hahaha! When I am in Korea, I especially miss Macau and Hong Kong’s street food - Fishballs, beef offal, milk tea… Plus the fruits in Korea are very expensive!